Plow pulling, as you probably know, is the act of a team of animals drawing a plow through the soil. A farmer will do this to prepare the ground for seeding or planting.
From the ancient age, people are using animals to drag Plow. These animals are used to do the thing that a modern tractor does.
Bovine animals are common for this task. However, in some cases, equine species people use too. Here in this article, we are going to learn about the plow pulling farm animals.
Plow Pulling Farm Animal
The animals that farmers use to pull the Plow are called Plow pulling farm animals. There are many species of these animals. The animals are also draft animals. However, all draft animals are not suitable for plowing.
Plowing helps to break up the clods of soil. This makes the plowed-up soil ready to absorb water and nutrients. It is especially true for heavy clay soils.
Now let’s begin.
Oxen are very common on the farms. They are very strong and are used to pull heavy loads. Usually, an ox team consists of two bulls and two cows. A York Oxen can plow 220 yards a day. Therefore, they are very efficient and cheap animals to use.
There are some drawbacks to using oxen. For example, they have to be shod with iron shoes every six months or so. Also, they need frequent feeding. And, since they are not as efficient as a tractor, you will have to use more of them.
Though, oxen have been known to get sick and even die from working too hard. Also, they need plenty of food and water to work efficiently.
Buffalo is also a common large farm animal. They are very strong. If you compared it with regular oxen, buffalos are four-time stronger.
That is why they are very commonly used as draft animals. However, just like oxen, they need plenty of food and water to work efficiently. Also, they are very stubborn.
They are large animals that stand about two feet at the shoulder. They have long shaggy coats and thick humps on their backs. However, they are used for pulling Plow in the fields.
Cows are the most commonly used animals in plow pulling. A single cow can pull about 300 pounds for eight hours per day. However, cows are a much cheaper alternative to oxen.
However, cows are less strong and tire more easily than oxen. Also, they require more attention and feeding to be healthy and efficient.
Horses are also used in farm work. They are very strong and can pull up. A pair of horses can pull 12,000 pounds. They are also very fast and can cover 18-20 miles per hour.
Horses are very expensive and need lots of food, water, and care. Horses have been known to get sick and die from working too hard too. Also, they need time to rest between workloads.
Mules are another very common farm animal. A mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey. It has the strength of a horse and the endurance of a donkey. Mules are very common on the farms and are used for plow pulling.
A mule is cheaper than a horse. However, it is not as fast as a horse. However, they progress stronger muscles, which makes them suitable for farm work. Besides, mules are very efficient and effective for plowing heavy soil.
Moreover, it requires less attention and feeding than a horse. So, it is an economical choice for plow pulling. However, just like horses, mules need lots of food, water, and care.
A donkey is a small species of animal that is related to the horse and mules. Donkeys have been known to pull very heavy loads.
Furthermore, they are also very strong and can pull long distances. They are very cheap and easy to care for. However, donkeys are slow and cannot go as fast as horses or mules.
That makes them efficient animals to use in farm work. However, donkeys are not as strong as horses. And sometimes, they are stubborn and difficult to train.
Why Don’t People use Animals Pulling Plows Anymore?
Many modern farms use large tractors instead of horses and mules. These machines are much stronger than any animal.
Therefore, it is cheaper and more effective to use these machines than to use animals. However, this is not always the case. Some farms still use animals for plowing. If this is the case, it is usually because the tractors are not available. Or the farmer does not want to invest in the necessary machinery.
Or maybe the farmer does not have enough land to use the tractor. In any case, most farmers will tell you it is not worth the expense of livestock handling, feeding, and caring. Besides, there is some risk factor involved.
Hence, there are many reasons people do not use animals for plowing. However, two of the most common reasons are:
It is expensive.
It costs a lot to keep an animal in good health and ready to work. That includes the cost of the food and water needed to keep the animal healthy and ready to work.
They are too slow.
Animals have to be trained to work efficiently. It takes time and attention that farmers do not have.
That is why plowing is done by machines today. However, this does not mean animals are useless.
Hard to Operate Animals In Cold Weather
These livestock animals can suffer badly from cold, whereas the tractor is much suitable.
There you have it. That is a brief description of four different kinds of animals that can be used for plow pulling. In reality, there are many more animals that can be used for this type of work. Some of these animals include elephants, reindeer, camels, llamas, and even goats.